The state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), which holds the remaining 15% shares in CICT and the Sri Lanka Board of Investment have both granted approval for the transfer of the shareholding by Aitken Spence. SLPA is currently in negotiations with CMHI to acquire an additional 6.43% equity interests in CICT.
The CMHI-Aitken Spence consortium secured the contract to build and operate CICT in August 2011 after submitting the sole bid for the project in July 2009. CICT was awarded the tender to construct and operate the Colombo South Container Terminal for a period of 35 years, after which the terminal would be handed over to the SLPA.
The 58ha facility with a 1,200 m berth offers a minimum depth of 18 m and a design capacity of 2.4m teu. It will be built over two phases, with the first phase expected to be launched in December 2013. Construction was started in December 2011. Local press reports in Sri Lanka suggest that Aitken Spence has decided to pull out from the project due to the escalating costs. The overall price tag of the project has increased from US$500m to US$600m due to a 35% increase in construction costs. Aitken Spence will receive US$5.5m from the sale.